Thursday, November 29, 2007

Astons Prime Part II

Back at Aston's Prime for lunch. On my previous visit, I was rather impressed by their steaks, namely the fillet mignon so thought I would try out another cut just for the record.



Interior & Complimentary Bread

The complimentary bread this time round was served up warm but the home made garlic spread, though fragrant, was still as tasteless as before.



Steakhouse Fries

Ironically, this dish was the most outstanding dish of the afternoon, with the fries soft and warm on the inside and a little crisp on the outside. When eaten with mayonnaise, it was really too good to resist!



New York Steak

Culinary skill wise, no problems with the New York Steak at all. Well seared on the outside while retaining the pinkish hue of medium rare on the inside. However, the cut was rather inferior as compared to the fillet mignon. It wasn't exactly sweet or juicy and there seemed to be way too much fats by the side, which was plain gross.



King Salmon Steak

I honestly appreciate my salmon firm and this dish was anything but that. Sure, the exterior was nicely grilled with a little crisp but the meat was way too soft for my liking, probably due to it being done medium? My friends actually found it too mashy and gross.



Bill

This visit to Astons Prime was certainly disappointing. The food certainly wasn't up to my expectations but I must still commend them for the good service. However, if the relatively steep prices remain, at $76 for 3 pax for lunch, for such food quality, I highly doubt I'll return.



Likes: Good service
Dislikes: Food this time round was average, pricey

Final Verdict:
Ambience:6.5/10
Service:8/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:6/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: 467 Joo Chiat Road

Contact: 63442447

Opening Hours: Wed - Mon: 11.30am to 11pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Werner's Oven



Had a thing for German food one day so popped down to Werner's Oven for lunch. To date, my only experience with German food was the rather good dinner at Magma, which I hoped Werner's Oven could emulate.




Housed in a small shop along East Coast Road in the Siglap area, Werner's has been featured in various television programs as well as articles touting its authentic and tasty German food. The interior is simple yet homely complete with a bar counter and nice Christmas look a like decorations.



Fried Camembert

Interestingly, when I first ordered this dish, I had hoped it would be on par with the one I had at Senso some time back. Unfortunately, it wasn't half as good although I have to admit that the cheese was nice and a little molten in the centre while the exterior was deep fried to a crisp. Would have preferred the core to be a little firmer though as it did seem a little too gooey for my liking.



Calamari

In all honesty, the calamari was good the first few pieces as the batter tasted like those you would find on onion rings. You might wonder why its only the first few pieces. Well because the batter was way too oily and when eaten with the accompanying Mayonnaise, rendered me nauseous really fast, especially when everything turned cold.



Fleischkase - German Meatloaf with Sauteed Potatoes and Fried Egg

I shall refrain from complaining, but the Fleischkase was a joke! It really tasted like luncheon meat to me, albeit of a more substantial chunk and less salty variation. For the price, I rather eat luncheon meat!



Schmorbraten - Beef Pot Roast with Dumpling, Boiled Potatoes

The Schmorbraten's gravy looked and tasted a little too dense but the beef was still acceptable - nice and tasty but a little too chewy. Nothing fantastic though and I probably wouldn't order this again.



Rote Grutze - Sweet Sour Cherry and Raspberry Sago with Vanilla Sauce

A rather interesting dish and I must admit that I've never tried it before. However, it wasn't as special as I had made it out to be. The sago came submerged under a layer of vanilla sauce and its texture reminded me of jam. So just imagine jam under a layer of creamy tasting sauce. Not something I'll order again as it was a little too weird for me.



Baked Cream Cheese Cake

I wasn't too impressed with the cheesecake as it wasn't as creamy as I would have liked it to be and the accompanying ice cream tasted like king's ice cream! Decent nevertheless.



Bill

$78 for lunch for 3 pax is really expensive given the quality of food. I would be hard pressed to find a reason to return, rave reviews in the media or not. On a side note, Werner's operates a bakery just next door as well, which sells some really cool German bread.



Likes: Nice place
Dislikes: Food quality average, not cheap

Final Verdict:
Ambience:6.5/10
Service:6.5/10
Food:6/10
Value for money:6/10

Overall:6.25/10

Address: 6 Upper East Coast Road #01-01/02/03

Contact: 6442 3897

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday , 8.30am - 10.00pm

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Restaurant Chako



In the western region of Singapore lies a gem that is Restaurant Chako. Established in 1978 by Chako, the lady boss cum chef, the eatery boasts home cooked food that is cooked when you place your order and at prices that won't burst your pocket.




Located at a rather prominent row of shops along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), Chako is ironically hidden from sight and totally devoid of human traffic on a Tuesday evening. Not that I'm complaining though. The interior was tiny and oozed a homely feel made complete by a shelf full of Japanese comics and the motherly figure of Chako, who fussed over us and explained to us in detail the items on the menu (which happens to be in Japanese by the way).



Occha

The Occha deserves a mention on its own. Unlike the usual Occha served at most other Japanese eateries, the Occha here was particularly fragrant and carried a whiff of coffee aroma. It had a tinge of coffee taste as well which was delightful.



Miso Soup & Cold Tofu

The sides of Miso Soup and Cold Tofu came with every order of a main course. What I liked about the Miso soup was that there were cockles in it, which was something different. However the soup did come across as a tad too salty for my liking. The tofu was soft and silky but nothing out of the ordinary.



Hanburg Steak

My Hanburg steak was nice and thick but a little too soft for my liking. Meat was pan fried till well done instead of the usual medium/medium rare which would have been tastier and juicier. Simply done without the frills and very decent.



Yakiniku Chicken

Served up with various vegetables like lettuce, carrots, egg plants etc, the Yakiniku Chicken was relatively well done. Crispy on the outside and not too heavy on the BBQ sauce. Add the fact that it was topped with a generous amount of crushed peanuts and you have a nice yet simple dish.



Vanilla Soya Bean Ice Cream & Mango Yoghurt

The vanilla soya bean ice cream came across as light, tasting of soya with a tinge of vanilla. It came with cut fruits which had been carefully prepared, ie. the grapes had the head cut off and the pear has its skin removed.

I'm not exactly a fan of yoghurt but the mango yoghurt wasn't half as bad as I made it out to be. Slightly sourish with a dash of mango. I understand that both desserts are hand made by Chako herself.



Bill

We were the only 2 customers in the restaurant that evening and it was a long dinner, standing at 2.5hrs and costing $55. Expensive? A little. Food quality? Decent. Satisfaction from a home cooked dinner? Priceless. On a side note, please be prepared to wait for your food as it is a one man show. If you can't understand Japanese, please bring along something to read to while away the long waiting times.



Likes: Homely environment and food
Dislikes: Long waiting time

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7.5/10
Food:7/10
Value for money:6.5/10

Overall:7/10

Address: Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre, 134 West Coast Way

Contact: 67763919

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 12pm - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10.30pm

Sun: 6pm - 10pm

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bather's



Stumbled upon Bather's by accident one afternoon while I was exploring the serene neighbourhood of Sunset Way and decided to drop in for lunch.



Little is known about Bather's except that it has been around for quite a fair amount of time. Hidden in one oblivious corner of Sunset Way just along the outskirts of the restaurant cluster, Bather's setting is simple and laid back which easily puts one at ease while enjoying the serenity of the surroundings.



Vegetable Cream Soup & Mushroom Fruit Duxelle

The soup was reasonably decent and didn't taste like those straight out of the can kind. But it was too watery to be of any difference honestly. Not that the mushroom salad was any better, coming across as average.



Ham Carbonara

I didn't find the sauce of the Carbonara too coagulated which was good and the addition of coriander made it easier to stomach so much cream. However, the pasta was way too overcooked which was a pity really. Ham and bacon slices provided the additional bite and taste but did come across as rather forgettable.



Pepper Sauce Grass Fed Striploin Steak

Even though I had requested for my steak to be done medium rare, it came almost well done, which would still have been acceptable if not for the fact that there wasn't much beefy taste left. The meat was a little too fatty along the edges as well but still came across as chewy. Overall still decent though when eaten with the slightly buttery gravy.



Ice Cream with Apple Pie

I didn't have a choice with the dessert as it came with the set. Very average at best.



Bill

I wouldn't exactly call $39.50 for 2 pax reasonable especially for the quality of food but it isn't expensive either. The place is nice and service is good which might just tempt me enough to return.



Likes: Good service, nice place
Dislikes: Food quality average

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:6/10
Value for money:6/10

Overall:6.5/10

Address: #01-02/03 Clementi Arcade, 41 Sunset Way

Contact: 6463 1767

Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri: 11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm

Sat: 6pm-10pm

Closed Sundays

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cafe Oliv



Dropped by Cafe Oliv, one of the many small eateries lining East Coast Road, for lunch. Its chef, Kevin Heng, used to work for Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa and the Emerald Hill Group but has since moved on to open up Cafe Oliv with his buddy, Patrick Ang.



Situated just next to the famous 328 Laksa and further down from Astons Specialties, Cafe Oliv is a tiny eatery which can probably seat about 20+ pax. The interior is minimalistic with its clean lines and plastic tables and chairs.



Cream of Vegetable Soup

This came as part of the set lunch which means you don't get to choose anything except for the main course. I wouldn't say the soup was terrific or anything close to that, but it was decent - tasty yet not too coagulated or runny. Something should be done about the rock hard bread though, which was still too hard even after dipping it into the soup.



Grilled Half Shell Scallops with Basil Aglio Olio Linguine

As lip smacking as this dish may sound, it certainly had lots of room for improvement. The linguine wasn't al dente to begin with and came across as a tad too salty for my liking. The scallops were nicely grilled with a tinge of rawness but didn't seem particularly sweet.



Traditional Beef Stew with Fennel

I liked the thick gravy which came with this dish but the beef did seem a tad too soft for my liking though my friend found it just right. Nice warm dish to have on a cold rainy day. Just don't get your expectations too high.




Oliv Mini Trio Meat Burger

Made up of 3 different types of burger, namely BBQ sliced pork, cod fish steak and tenderloin steak, this dish was one of the more interesting dishes around. Personally I fancied the tenderloin burger the most as the patty was chewy with lots of bite. The BBQ sliced pork, which looked and tasted like Kong Ba incidentally, had its taste overwhelmed by the bacon. As for the salmon, I found it a tad too salty.



Brownie with Ice Cream

Its really difficult to go wrong with brownies, save for those that are hard and dry. Having said that, I did like the brownie quite a fair bit with its chocolaty overtones.



Bill

A relaxing and filling lunch for 2 came to the tune of $43, which isn't expensive considering that the set lunch itself is only $10.90 nett per person. No service charge or GST is imposed, which is a plus as well and not forgetting the good service rendered. I would say overall food quality is decent but don't expect too much.



Likes: Good service, inexpensive
Dislikes: Limited parking

Final Verdict:
Ambience:6.5/10
Service:7/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:7/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: 220 East Coast Road

Contact: 63443114